|Giant Minerva Reef clam in striking cobalt and navy|
with bright jade-colored accents.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef marked my first fantastic experience with giant and surprisingly colorful clams. The biggest can reach over 440 pounds! Minerva Reef practically blossomed with them, a bit smaller than their Barrier Reef brethren, but in much more prolific with much greater variety.
|While the deep indigo color of this giant Minerva clam’s cool, |
it’s fist-sized highly visible proximal valves (encasing the clam’s
internal and external siphon tubes) are what caught my attention.
As if that wasn’t incredible enough, what first struck me about the clams, besides their giant size, almost as large as we were, their flesh was a gorgeous tapestry of color — turquoise, peach, black, white….
|Two Minerva Reef giant clams; the smaller turquoise,|
the larger brown.
Alas, Minerva Reef clams were less “open” than those the Australian dive instructor introduced us to, though I suspect Minerva’s clammy clams are more the norm. Besides I generally adopt a look-but-don’t-touch policy when it comes to interaction with the wildlife.
Are these Minerva Reef giants “happy as a clam?” Who knows? But they’ve certainly selected one heckuva a neighborhood, with an excellent supply of fresh plankton to keep them well-fed.
Cruising By the Numbers
Since we left Jacksonville Florida in December, 2014 — less than a year ago — we’ve sailed over 10,000 miles.